Sore Throat

I am not far from the computer; but not well enough to be blogging. I am taking a few sick days. Strep throat has a way of putting me down for the count. I will be back as soon as I can swallow and read the computer without my eyes tearing up!!



Ordering our Homes- Grocery Bags

During this series I wanted to cover how to organize those little things that have a habit of taking over or causing a lot of clutter. With seven people in the house I can think of several things that left to themselves would take over the entire house. Usually these things are either small or they have several multiples (like shoes or gloves). They also are usually things that we need on a regular basis; but because there are so many of them or they seem so small an insignificant we have a hard time finding a place for them to stay.

Plastic grocery bags can be that way for me. Now I know that you can use cloth bags and eliminate the plastic bags altogether. However, I do like having some around for use around the house. I use my bags to line trash cans, put in diaper bags for trash bags or laundry bags, and other obscure uses that seem to come up for their use from time to time.

These bags have a tendency to multiply and I have wondered if they do that in the dark! I was hit with an idea one day to take one of Anna's old dresses and sew up the bottom of the dress. The back of the dress has snaps. After the bottom was sewn up I took and hung it on a hanger and only buttoned the first snap. The other two snaps were left open so that I could have an opening for the bag storage. I placed the dress on the nail next to my cleaning supply shelf. It has worked out nicely. I also love looking at the dress - as it was one of my favorites from when Anna was a bit smaller.

However, finding a keen place with which to store these plastic bags, does not take the frustration out of reaching into the storage place and having to wrestle a bag loose from all the other bags entangled around it! I have been storing my bags wrapped a certain way - and love being able to reach into the bag and pull out just one - neatly wrapped. This works nicely also, when I just need to grab a couple for the diaper bag. I can get them and put them neatly into the diaper bag without having to stuff and wad a bag up.

Here is how I 'wrap' my plastic bags for storage:

First, take the bag, with handles down and smooth it out into a straight line. Keeping the end of the bag in the palm of your hand.

Then, take and wrap the bag loosely around your palm.
When you have the bag wrapped around your hand, simply tuck the end into the area around your hand as you are removing it from your palm. Don't tuck the end in too tightly.

There you have a little plastic ball 'bag' to store away for future use.
I then just take the bag and tuck it away into the dress to await for a time needed.

I usually do not have way too many bags sitting around now that I shop at Aldi's. If they start to be overflowing - I simply either refuse the plastic bag at the counter - by bringing my own bag or I ask for paper bags. I do like to have a few of the paper bags around.

How do your store your plastic bags? Or, do you even use plastic bags?

Ordering our Home Series - Menu Plans

One thing that has really helped me in the area of organization is a menu plan. Working in the kitchen has not come easy to me. It has been the area of biggest struggle for me as a wife trying to be a homemaker. When we first were married I was all thumbs when it came to food preparations. It has taken me a long time to learn how to cook and to be able to plan out a menu. It has not been easy for me to learn.

Although I am able to manage pretty well without too much anxiety in the kitchen now; being able to come up with something for dinner does not come 'second nature' to me yet. I find myself quite anxious and frustrated if I am staring at a clock and dinner needs to be ready within the hour. It is like my mind is not able to function in that type of stress!!

I have found that having a menu already set for breakfast and lunches frees up time when planning my weekly menu. It also alleviates last minute stress - - for I do not have to try to figure out what to have for breakfast, I just have to look at the list. Then, when the list becomes so well known - I have it in my head - "It's Monday, I know what I fix on Monday mornings for breakfast."

For breakfast we just have a weekly rotating menu.

Monday - Oatmeal / Milk / Fruit

Tuesday - Muffins w/ Peanut Butter / Fruit / Milk

Wednesday - Cream of Wheat / Milk / Fruit or Juice

Thursday - Eggs and Toast / Juice

Friday - Cold cereal w/ milk / Juice

For lunches I have a list of 15 different lunches. We just follow the list down and then start all over again. (Some lunches are on there more than once - as you will notice...)

1. Meat and Cheese Sandwiches / Popcorn / Cut Veggies / Fruit / Pudding

2. Baked Potato / Cut Veggies / Fruit / Muffin

3. Roll up with Peanut butter and grated apples / 2 sm bags of Cut Veggies / 1 Cookie

4. Soup / Crackers / Veggie / Fruit / Pudding

5. Lunchables** / Cut Veggies / Fruit / Jello

6. "Salad" Sandwich Spread ( egg, chicken, tuna salad) w/ Crackers / Veggies / Fruit / Pudding

7. Chicken Garden Salad / Fruit / Yogurt

8. Soup / Crackers / Veggie / Fruit/ Muffin

9. Bean Burritos / Corn chips / Fruit / Jello

10. Meat and Cheese Sandwich / Popcorn / Veggie/ Fruit/ 1 Cookie

11. Calico Beans / Corn Chips / Veggie / Fruit/ Yogurt

12. Crackers w/ Peanut Butter/ Veggie / Fruit / 1 Cookie

13. Garden Salad with Chicken / Fruit / Muffin

14. Chips and Salsa / Fruit / Jello

15. "Salad" Sand Spread w/ Crackers / Veggie / Fruit / Pudding

**Lunchables are homemade - I use a small cookie cutter to cut the meat and cheese with - and then I put them in a small plastic bowl.

All Cookies are homemade and may be substituted with another homemade dessert I have made that week. All the jellos and puddings are purchased in the box and made at home. I purchased some small Tupperware containers that work perfectly for these desserts. I can make them ahead the weekend before and have them ready and available in the bottom shelf of the refrigerator to pull out when I am getting the lunches packed in the mornings. On Monday nights I make a double batch of muffins (using the Tightwad Gazette's Universal Muffin Recipe) and then I use these muffins also for desserts.

James also has a snack time in the mornings before his recess. Here is a few things I have on hand to throw in his box for his snack.

*A muffin

*A fruit

*Left over oatmeal from breakfast (this is his favorite snack - go figure!)

*A yogurt

*1/2 Peanut Butter Sandwich

*Ants on a Log (Celery with Peanut Butter and Raisins)
*Crackers and cheese
*Cheese and a apple
*An apple and peanut butter

Having these meals already planned has freed my brain up from having to plan three meals every day. It also has cut down on going out - or grabbing something quick. I found we were doing that because I was having 'brain freezes' the closer the time came to meals. It was just easier - (not healthier) - to just solve the crisis by just going out and getting something quick.

Do you have a meal plan that works for you? I would love to hear about it!

Thanks for stopping by - I am so glad you did.



Ordering our Home Series - My Schedule

I have found my daily routine much altered in the past few months. So much of my life has changed with the children going to attend school. I will be honest that for the better part of the first semester I found it hard to motivate and get things accomplished. So much had changed.
After careful evaluation of the situation, I really believe that I was truly missing having the older kids at home. So, to some extent, I feel I was grieving for the life I had always known with them around everyday. It was hard for me to admit this - for I KNOW that God wants them in school this year - and He made it very clear to us that this was His will for us. Somehow admitting that I was missing them seemed that I was saying I did not want God's will for us. Then I thought of the verse that tells me that He knows my frame - He remembers that I am but dust. How thankful that He cares for me - even the emotional side of me.

The grieving time seems to be over; and I have been able to come up with a routine and schedule that seem to be working. I also see God's wisdom in it all; because Zak has done very well with having one on one time with Mom. We have had our issues; but I have seen marked improvements with him also.

Here is the schedule that I try to follow throughout my day. At the beginning of the school year, with the older kids gone, it was so easy to just kind of drift along throughout my day. However, I found I HATED the way I felt when I did not have a definite plan for what needed to be accomplished. I also hated the way the little ones acted - they needed a routine!!

This is my schedule when the kids leave for school at 6:15 or so in the morning:

4:50 - Rise / Dress / Make bed
5:00 - Get older kids up and started on their schedule / instruct the younger two, if they are awake to stay in their beds
5:05 - Turn lights on down stairs - turn on music - make the house look 'awake' for the kids
5:10 - Assemble lunches (they are prepared the night before for the most part)

5:20 - Start on breakfast

5:30- Set table - (make sure kids are quiet and doing their devotions)

5:50 - Sit down with the kids as they eat their breakfast / go over their day

6:05 - Supervise as kids get ready to leave

6:15 - Kids leave for school / grab a cup of coffee and sit down for my time with God

7:00 - Get little ones up / dressed / hair combed

7:10 - Breakfast with the kids / Cleanup (Zak dries dishes, Anna washes cabinet doors) / Brush teeth with kids

7:30 - Do Housework ( Clean / vacuum / start laundry / do baking that needs done)

9:00 - School with the Kids

11:15 - Prepare lunch

11:30 - Lunch time with the kids

12:00 - Read the kids a story / Tuck them into bed

12:10 - Blogging / email

1:10 - Work on Book / Writing

2:15 - Get kids up from nap / snack time

2:30 - Zak play outside / supervise as Anna plays on her mat / make phone calls / Free

3:15 - Do a quick cleanup of house /

3:30 -Sewing/ Project Time

4:30 - Start setting table / Older kids get home - keep them on schedule

5:00 - Family Dinner Time / Family Devotions

5:40 - Dinner Dishes with Rob / Pack lunches

6:15 - Get little ones ready for bed / play with them / read them a book

7:00 - Little ones in bed / Change into PJ's / Read or Write

7:30 - Mom and Me with James

7:50 - Mom and Me with Abbey

8:10 - Mom and Me with Rachel

8:30 - Make a cup of tea/ Read or Write

9:30 - Pray with Rob

10:00 - Lights out

That is my day in a nut shell. There are times there are projects I am needing to get done - and I will do that during the blog time or the writing time; but I like to keep the writing time so I can get something accomplished on my book. (Someday, perhaps it will be done!!)

Not everyday works like this ... but I try. I do try to make up a list of things that need to be done for the week. I do this on Saturday mornings. I try to get out for about an hour on Saturday mornings. I grab a cup of coffee and a breakfast roll then I spend some time with my calendar and plan out the week. I plan the menu for the week's dinners - ( lunch and breakfast menus are already set on a rotating calendar) -as well as the daily things that need to get accomplished that week.

On Saturday mornings when I am planning my week I make up a list of everything that needs to be done during that week.My weekly lists include everything I need to do for the week. After I have the list completed, I plug the "to do" items into the days that they need to be done. Then each night I go through my list and go over what needs to be done tomorrow; and also add anything else that I need to get accomplished that day also.

It is nice to see at the end of the day the items marked off the list. It also helps when I get side tracked during the day to have the page to turn to and get refocused on what needs to get accomplished. (I also have a monthly planning session on the last Sunday of the month. That Sunday afternoon while the kids are napping, I do the same thing; but on a monthly scale. For the most part, monthly planning is making sure the big things like doctor appointments and school activities are written in correctly.)

I guess the thing I want the most is that I am redeeming the time - and having things organized so I can be able to minster to those God brings my way. I do not want my schedule to be something that I have to just "do"; but rather a tool that allows me the ability to have things done (or scheduled to be done) so I don't have to be consumed with them in my mind. When my mind is free from the worry of all the things there are to do, I am able to see the things around me that I would have missed.
I also want for my children to grow up with order. Children thrive on a routine. Autistic children almost can not function without a routine!! I am so glad that God is a God of order and allows us the ability to think and to plan.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I trust your this month of January has been profitable as you begin this new year.


Homemade Cleaning Recipes

Homemade cleaning supplies have made my cleaning routine easier. I thought I would share a few of my favorites.

All Purpose Cleaner **
2T Dish washing Liquid
2cups Water

Mix together and pour into a spray bottle. Use on door frames or counters. Anywhere you would use all purpose cleaner. Works GREAT!

Glass Cleaner **
(pictured here in recycled spray bottle)
1part white vinegar
1part water

Mix together and use on windows and mirrors.

Sink Cleanser
The sink cleaner recipe I got from Tammy's place. I really really love this stuff. The sink is much shiner after it is cleaned with this homemade cleanser than the commercial brand. Jump over to Tammy's and get the recipe. While you are at it-- browse her food recipes and find something great for dinner. I love her place!!
I am so glad you stopped by-happy cleaning everyone!
**These recipes found in the book: Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook

Ordering our Homes - Cleaning Supplies

The key to organizing is to think according to grouping. When setting out to organize any room or place in your home, group together items that are used together. Make a concentrated effort to have everything you need to complete a certain task placed together so no extra steps are needed to gather items you will need.

I have used this principle in regards to almost every area of my home. Today I wanted to share with you how organizing my storage shelves used for my cleaning supplies has helped me. I have been so pleased with home much this has simplified my cleaning routines.

In order to group together products need for the different cleaning tasks I have to do; I have assembled various 'kits'. Each 'kit' contains the items needed for that particular cleaning zone.

Having these kits has allowed me the luxury of pulling out the kit, going to the room needing to be cleaned, and having at my fingertips all I need to get the job done.

Because the majority of my cleaning products are homemade; I have not needed to purchase lots duplicate cleaning bottles; but rather purchasing (or better yet, recycling) empty bottles for each kit. Then as needed, I make up that particular cleaning supply when the certain bottles run low. (I will be posting recipes for homemade cleaning supplies soon!)

Here is a list of the different kids and the content of each kit:

(this is for all rooms that are just 'lived' in: front room, office, bedrooms etc)
*Homemade Window Cleaner
*Furniture Polish (I had several cans of Pledge given to me - so I have not yet tried the homemade version
of this product)
* Homemade All Purpose Cleaner
*Carpet Fresh (I know that this is not a necessity; but I do enjoy occasionally sprinkling on the carpet for an
extra fresh smell!)

*Homemade Cleanser
*Homemade Window Cleaner
*A toothbrush (for those hard to reach areas)
*Homemade All Purpose Cleaner
( I keep a small bottle of ammonia on the shelves in the storage area and use that for the days I need to mop the bathroom - I do not carry it in the kit... as I do not need it every time.)

(I have this kit under my sink for easier access)
*Homemade Sink Cleanser
*All Purpose Cleaner
*A Toothbrush (for those hard to reach areas)
*Mrs Myers Counter top spray (received as a gift ... I LOVE this stuff)

I have a shelf designated for rags. I always grab the amount of rags I need for the job and hand- grab my kit and head off toe clean.

This has helped so much in the organization, as well as the ease of keeping my house clean. Join me next post as I share some recipes for cleaning products that do not only do the job - - but (I have found) do it better than the commercial brand I was using!!

Lite Lunch

Lunch boxes seem to be a bit of a difficulty for my children to remember to bring home from school. Reminders have been given along with a paper lunch sack that fills the void of the missing boxes. However, reminders have not been working.

The mornings are busy with me assembling lunches while the kids get around for their days. It is always a bit of an annoyance when I go to the mudroom to retrieve the boxes - and alas, the shelves are empty.

Christmas break was filled with planning and talking. Talking about what things we needed to change and planning for the ways to make those changes truly happen. The lunch box issue came up during those talks.

It was decided that if lunch boxes were not returned home after school, the next days lunch would not be sent. All understood the plan for making the lunch box issue a closed subject. All planned on bringing their lunch boxes home EVERYDAY after school.

Well... old habits die hard. Two out of the three will be 'watching' during lunch time rather than 'eating' during that time.

Boy, it is hard being a Mom sometimes!!

I plan on having dinner ready right when they are all due home. Somehow, I think we might be eating a bit early this evening.

The Long Way Home

Most often we wait to eat dinner until we get home on Sunday nights. Grant it, it is a bit later than our normal dinner time; but it just works for us with the Sunday schedule.

Tonight, we were heading home from church, and Zak made an interesting discovery.

Zak: "Dad?"
Dad:"Yes, Zak."
Zak: "The trip home takes longer on the nights that you are starving."

Moral to this story: If you are wanting to get home relatively quickly ... eat first before you leave. You travel faster on a full stomach!
(By looking at me - - you can see I get everywhere I am going very very fast!!) LOL

Trust you had a wonderful weekend. Thanks so much for stopping by - I am so glad you did.


Ordering our Homes - Evening Routines

When the kids get home from school there is a long list of things that have to be done. Efficiency in our home is essential to getting it all done; but it is also essential in getting it done and not having conflict and wrong attitudes flaring at the drop of the hat!

I have evaluated the times when there are wrong attitudes in our home. many of those times happen when someone is not doing what they are supposed to be doing. A lot of time it happens when there is not a routine set down so everyone knows what is going on. There are times when I notice that I am irritated at the kids for just being around; because in my mind they are supposed to be doing something else. Yet the reason they are not doing something else is that I have not been clear in laying out my expectations for them. The easiest way to do that is to establish a routine where they know what they are supposed to be doing without needing me to prompt them and tell them.

Our afternoons have had to start functioning like clock work in order to accomplish what needs to be done each evening. It has taken an open mind in coming up with a routine that accommodates everything on the evening 'to do' list. For example, the kids have always done the dinner dishes-for about as long as I can remember. It has always been a teat for me to be able to take the evening off of dishes. Now, with homework, showers, instrument practice etc., I have had to look at the evening and think of it differently than what it has always been.

Changing things that have always been can sometimes feel scary. Sometimes things need to be changed though. New routines need to be made. We can not be afraid to change things around if our current system is not working. Life changes - we need to be willing to change too!

Unlike our morning routine where we schedule the time according to the amount of time needed for each task; our evening routine has to be made according to the actual time on the clock. This is needed simply because we have a set time for bed. Every school night the kids know that bedtime is promptly at 8:30 - no exceptions! (Wednesday nights are different because we have church that night. On Wed night the routine is that everyone is in bed 15 minutes after we pull in the drive way - no exceptions!)

Having a set time that needs to be met for bed, can pose a problem when the kids arrive home at various times on different days. here is how we rectified that problems. A routine is followed(doing each task in the amount of time allotted for each task) until dinner. If we are running a few minutes later because of a later arrival time home - we take the time off of dinner. Thus, dinner always ends at the same time each evening. Then, from the time dinner is over we follow a schedule (tasks done according to the actual time on the clock.) That way bed time is always promptly at the designated time.

Here is a sample of Abbey's after school schedule. Her schedule /routine starts the minute that she walks in the door:

*Empty lunch box / take off shoes and coat / take bag upstairs to bedroom - 5 minutes

*Prep for next day=
(lay out clothes for next school day- put coat /shoes / gym bag in front entry way) - 10 minutes

*Shower - 15 minutes

*Dinner - 40 minutes

5:40 - Family devotions

6:00 - Practice Cello with Anna - (Anna plays in her room quietly while Abbey practices)

7:00 - Homework in bedroom - NO TALKING RULE IN EFFECT

7:50 - Mom and Me Time

8:15 - Brush Teeth / Drink / Prep for Bed/ Pray with Dad

8:30 Bedtime - Reading Privilege until Lights Out


During their instrument practice time Rob and I do the dishes together. This gives us a chance to talk without the kids running around. I actually LOVE this time with him; and have found that changing this aspect of the schedule was not that bad! (The kids then do all the dishes for all the meals on the weekends) Then from 6:30 - 7:00 Rob plays with the little ones while I pack the next days lunches and get breakfast prep done.

The nights really run effortlessly and the kids know what they are supposed to be doing throughout the entire evening. The house sounds a little funny with all the kids practicing in their rooms upstairs at the same time. I find, however, that the noise does not bother me at all because I know that all the kids are where they are supposed to be. The noise is telling me that they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. Thus, the stress is gone.

If we did not have such a long drive home from school I would make sure the children had some time to have fee time in the schedule. At this time, this is just not possible. Normally they are not getting home until at least 4:30 and that just does not leave time for free/play time. We do try to make the trip home from school fun. We had originally planning on making the trip home a time for homework; but with car sickness and excitement over the day's activities that just did not work out.

Each one of the older kids has a Mom and Me time during their homework time. This allows me to help them with any homework they have - (spelling words, math difficulties etc). I also use that time to sign permission slips, homework pads etch. If they do not have homework that I need to help them with, this is a time for them to talk to me and tell me about their day. The younger kids are in bed and this allows me the luxury of quality / uninterrupted time with each of them.

We do allot a 30 minute time for reading at 8:30. The rule is that teeth have to be brushed, drinks taken before their reading time. They have to read in bed - and once they are in bed they have to stay in bed. they are responsible to watch the time and turn the lights out at 9:00. If they fail to follow these rules they loose their time the next night. This allows us to place value on the discipline of reading and allows for Bible reading if they did not get it all done that morning.(No extra reading can be done until their Bible reading is done for the day!)

If you do not have a system set in place for organizing your time - let me encourage you to try it. you may find an actual schedule works great for you. perhaps, you will find routines a better fit for your families lifestyle. Don't be afraid to try implementing a little of both system. That has worked great for us!!

No matter what system you choose - order your time and your children's time. You will find such freedom in submission to a stewardship principled time management system. Our families are worth it!!

Ordering our Homes - Morning Routines

I love organization. Even as a girl, (and you can ask my Mom), I would make lists, organize my closet and label. LOVE organization!!

One way to make our homes run efficiently is to be organized. The old adage,"A place for everything, and everything in it's place", is just as much needed as a motto in our homes today as it was when our parents were children. Not only does organization allow things to run smoothly;it also allows us to be able to enjoy the time we spend within our four walls.

One of the things that I have found that needs to be organized is my time. Through the years homeschooling, I found the element that made it possible to get done what needed to get done - - having my time organized. Life just works when it is ordered. Time limits need to be set, and our days need to have forethought.

In her book, The Shaping of a Christian Family - How my Parents Nurtured my Faith Elisabeth Elliot said this about order in the home:

"There is a great deal of talk these days about having things unstructured. Just how can a Christan make this jibe with such Scriptures as "Let everything be done decently and in order", or with a careful study of God's creation? What would happen to the galaxies if they were unstructured? Certainly there should be order in the home."

For years of homeschooling, our schedule was set. I did not need it written down anywhere- I knew it, the kids knew it and we just did the next thing. Now, in the first years of homeschooling, I had the schedule written out, copies on the fridge and a copy in each one of the children's rooms. As the years went by, we just knew it and did it. It was part of us.

However, this year with the older children attending school, we have had to learn and invent a new schedule. We have worked and reworked it through the last couple of months; but I think we have finally figured out what works best. I thought I would share with you our morning routine. I did want to say that with our homeschooling schedule we worked with the actual time when everything was supposed to take place. (Rise at 6:00 am, Dress at 6:10 am etc) I have found for us in the morning a routine works better; because there are days when we leave earlier than other days. I did not want to have to make out schedules for everyday of the week. The routine way of organizing our time has worked better for us in the mornings.

Here is a sample of Rachel's Morning Routine: (note: the amount of time given for each task is what governs her- not the actual time on the clock)

Get Up / Make Bed - 5 minutes

Wash up / Bathroom - 5 minutes

Get Dressed / Hair Done - 20 minutes (absolutely NO talking in the house)

Personal devotions - 20 minutes (bring down book bag to front room)

Family Breakfast- 15 minutes (no talking during breakfast-Mom or Dad goes through the day with the kids while they eat)

Brush Teeth - 3 minutes

Prep to Leave - 5 minutes

This routine is working out smoothly for us. I know that the kids need 75 minutes for their morning routine. Thus, whatever time they need to leave will find us getting them up 75 minutes before that departure time. There are a couple mornings when they have to leave at 5:45 for school other days they do not have to leave until 7:30. (It all depends on who is taking them to school - - if Dad is taking them, they have to get up earlier so they can help him open the store before he takes them to school.) The routine helps everyone know the next thing.

I make sure I am up, dressed and ready to go for the day before the children get out of bed. I try to have the lights on down stairs - so it seems that the house is awake when the kids are getting up. Also, in the kitchen I try to have some Christian music playing - just to give an alert feel to the air.
The little kids who do not go to school are NOT allowed to get up with the older kids. They stay in their beds and are quiet(preferably sleeping) until Mommy tells them to get up. This way, we are able to get the kids off to school without the added chaos that younger kids throw into the mix. On the really early days, I have my time with the Lord as soon as the older kids walk out the door. After my devotions, I get the little ones up for their breakfast. On the days that I take the kids in ( usually around 7am) I rise early enough to have my devotions before I get around and dressed for the day. On the later days, the little ones are gotten up during the older kids' devotion time - with a rule that they have to be quiet!! Then we all eat breakfast together before we head out to school.

I wish that I could give them more time for their personal devotion; but right now, with almost an hour's drive to the church, this is as early as I feel comfortable getting them up. To rectify that issue, we do give them time for Bible reading before bed. We want the children in a habit of giving their day to the Lord - even if all that is allotted is a 20minute time frame. Time with the Lord must be a high priority!

I would encourage you, if you do not have a regular scheduled routine for your children to pray about what you could do. Kids thrive on a routine and everyone in the family seems a little happier when they know the 'next thing'.

Join me next time as I share our afternoon schedule and some thoughts on getting it all in after school!

Thanks for stopping by -I am so glad you did!



To Blog...

Last week as we sat and planned out the new year; one of the lists I made was a list of blog topics I am wanting to cover.

Things I wish to blog about in 2010:


*Book Reviews

*Devotional thoughts - from my read through the Bible and Obedience theme

*Recipes I Find Fun and Fast for the family


*Guest Interviews - "Meet.."

*Child Training Topics and Tips

*Family Outing / Family Night Ideas

*Thoughts on raising a special needs child

I also want to include some give aways this year. I want the give aways to be things that will help strengthen other's walk with God.

I believe that God has called me to be a wife, mother and homemaker. As I seek to do His will for my life I want to share things I am learning with others - so that they can be encouraged in the way. In a day and age when being a wife, mother and homemaker are so looked down upon in a general sense, I think it is best for all of us to be an encouragement to one another. What we are doing IS making a difference.

I loved this poem I just finished reading the other night. Thought I would share it with you all. Enjoy:

Call Back

If you have gone a little way ahead of me, call back-

'Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track;

And, if perchance, faith's light is dim, because the oil is low,

Your call will guide my lagging course as wearily I go.

Call back, and tell me that He went with you into the storm;

Call back,and say He kept you when the forest's roots were torn;

That when the heavens thundered and the earthquake shook the hill,

He bore you up and held you when the very air was till.

O friend, call back and tell me, for I cannot see your face;

They say it glows with triumph, and your feet bound in the face;

But there are mists between us, and my spirit eyes are dim,

And I cannot see the glory, though I long for word of Him.

But if you'll say He heard you when your prayer was but a cry,

And if you'll say He saw you through the night's sin-darkened sky,

If you have gone a little way ahead, O friend, call back-

"Twill cheer my heart and hep my feet along the stony track.

-Author Unknown

I want my blog to call back to what He is doing in my life; how He is enabling me to do it. I want my blog to call back to remembrance for me - when discouragement comes - that "this too will pass" and life will go on. Join me this year - as I seek to obey Him and watch Him change me.



To Read...

I have made several list in planning out my new year. One of them is a list of books I plan on reading in the next 24 months:

*The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life- by Hannah Whitall Smith

*By My Spirit - by Johnathan Goforth

*The Wind of the Spirit- by John R. Van Gelderen (currently reading)

*Prayer...asking and receiving by John R. Rice

*E.M. Bounds on Prayer

*Holiness - (by J.C. Ryle)

*A Chance to Die - by Elizabeth Elliot

*Moscow express and Other stories by Georgi Vins

* Let My People Go! by Tom Hess

*From Strength to Strength Our testimony of God's Healing by Don and Jill Vanderhoff

*Foxe's Book of Martyrs

*Contending for the Faith - by Fred Moritz

*Back to Normal Understanding Revival - by Rick Flanders

*Every Woman's Marriage- by Shannon and Greg Ethridge

*Becoming the Woman of His Dreams - by Sharon Jaynes

*8 Choices that will Change a Woman's Life - by Jill Briscoe

* The History of the Holocaust - by Rita Steinhardt Botwinick

*Parents and Children... The Role of the Parent in Education of the Child - by Charlotte M. Mason - (currently reading)

*Trusting God in a Twisted World - by Elizabeth Elliot

*The shaping of a Christian Family ... How my Parents Nurtured My Faith - by Elizabeth Elliot (Just finished reading)

* Why Johnny Can't Tell Right from Wrong - by William Kilpatrick

* A biography on the Life of Susanna Wesley- (could use suggestions)

My plan is to come back and check off when I am done reading; as well as do some book reviews on some of these books. What books are you currently reading?

Thanks for stopping by - I am so glad you did!!

The New Year

A gentle snow is falling outside. The kids have left for school - a new semester. We had a wonderful Christmas break. Now we start the new year. How thankful I am that God allows us to measure time - to be able to have new years - new weeks and new days. (Imagine if we never a new day - with no mistakes in it!)

I sat down and really evaluated this upcoming year. What I want to be and to do. Here are some of the things I am looking forward to in 2010.

1. Read my Bible through this year.

2. While reading my Bible through I will concentrate my heart towards illustrations and times when obedience is mentioned.

3. My theme for this year will be obedience.

4. Focus on school work with Zak.

5. Start preschool with Anna.

6. Sew more.

7. Make a rag quilt.

8. Paint and decorate my kitchen.

9. Finish my book.

10. Start a devotional book for ladies - theme: Walking in the Spirit.

11. More time in prayer.

12. Be a blessing to those with whom I come in contact.

13. Witness to my widow neighbor and minister to her needs as God lays it on my heart.

14. Infiltrate Zak's mind with classical music during the day and when he is in bed.

15. Memorize the book of Philippians.

None are in any specific order - all important and needing to be done.

I am looking forward to a great New Year. What are your thoughts for the year that lays before us?